Puna man arrested for alleged attempted murder


HILO — Police say a 55-year-old Hilo woman shot Sunday at her Panaewa home has been transferred to an Oahu hospital in serious but stable condition.

“She’s not out of the woods yet,” Lt. Greg Esteban of the Criminal Investigations Section said late Monday afternoon.

Police arrested 72-year-old Joseph Amormino Sr. of Hawaiian Beaches Sunday afternoon at the home at 1197 Auwae Road in the Panaewa Park subdivision on Hawaiian Homes land. Hilo Patrol officers responded to a 5:27 p.m. call on multiple shorts being fired at the home. Neighbors said they heard a total of 11 shots fired.

Police said that another person in the home had also been shot at, but was uninjured.

“Both victims knew the suspect,” Esteban said.

Esteban said two handguns were recovered from the scene. Asked if the firearms belong to Amormino, Esteban replied: “That’s still being investigated. The firearms do not belong to the victims, though.” Esteban said that whether the handguns are registered is “being looked into, as well.”

Esteban declined to say how many times the woman had been shot.

As of Tuesday evening, Amormino had not been charged. Police have opened investigations into possible charges of first-degree attempted murder, two counts of second-degree attempted murder and first-degree burglary, Esteban said. The first-degree attempted murder investigation is because there was more than one victim. The burglary investigation is because Amormino allegedly entered the home without permission with the intent to commit a separate crime.

By law, police have 48 hours from the time of arrest to charge Amormino or they must release him.

“We do have some time,” Esteban said.

A conviction for first-degree attempted murder carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. A conviction for second-degree attempted murder carries a mandatory sentence of life with the possibility of parole.

A search of court records turns up no criminal convictions for Amormino in Hawaii.